July CARICOM Meeting to Discuss Critical Regional Issues


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, has said that next month’s CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Guyana would address a number of critical regional issues in light of the global economic crisis.
“I think that a lot of decisions will have to be made. I think we’ll have to look beyond the CARICOM borders (and) look at Latin America because we have to look to larger markets for the solution. I believe the solution will be found, not in the context of CARICOM alone, but in the wider Caribbean and Latin America,” he stated.
Dr. Baugh was speaking to JIS News from New York on Thursday night (June 25), where he is attending the United Nations (UN) conference on the ‘World Financial and Economic Crisis and It’s Impact on Development’.
The three-day summit of world leaders has been called to assess what is said to be the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression. The aim is to identify emergency and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis, especially on vulnerable populations, and initiate dialogue on the transformation of the international financial architecture, taking into account the needs and concerns of all member states. It consists of plenary sessions and interactive roundtable exchanges among world leaders and representatives of the United Nations system, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), civil organisations, and the private sector.
Dr. Baugh said that the crisis was affecting all countries in a similar manner, in terms of job loss, reduction in revenue, and social services being compromised.
He told JIS News, that one consistent theme coming out of the conference was the critical role that the UN must play, as countries call for a strengthening of global governance. “They’re calling for strengthening of the UN and the UN bodies, as well as the international financial institutions especially the Bretton Woods system (IMF and the World Bank), for them to be harmonised with the UN in terms of financing the solutions,” he stated.
He said that developing states have pointed to the need for greater emphasis to be placed on increasing productivity as a basis for recovery, rather than the rescue packages which are directed, in most cases, at the very source of the problem.
“We need to have productivity, enterprises, and capacity building in developing countries, as a part of the solution to this crisis,” he stated.

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